A lot of people like to say that they attended “the school of hard knocks,” and it is certainly true that we do learn valuable lessons through hard experience. In the majority of the cases we move forward having had these experiences as wiser individuals capable of making more informed choices. Unfortunately however, there are some mistakes that you can make over a prolonged period of time that are impossible to overcome. One of these would be a total lack of preparation for retirement.
There are those who are hardwired to the idea that they will be retiring when they reach full retirement age as defined by the Social Security Administration. As of this writing the full retirement age for people who were born between 1943 and 1954 is 66. After this it rises by two months every year until 1960. Individuals who were born during this year and after reach full retirement age when they turn 67.
Reaching full retirement age does mean that you are eligible for Social Security if you paid enough into it, but it does not mean that you’re going to be able to retire. According to statistics provided by the Social Security Administration, the average monthly benefit at the present time is $1072. This is clearly not enough for most people to live on, but the fact is that 64% of Social Security recipients say that their benefit is their primary source of income.
There was a poll conducted by LifeGoesStrong.com and The Associated Press that was intended to gain an understanding of the preparedness of baby boomers for retirement. 25% of them said that they would never be able to retire. Two-thirds of the poll respondents stated that they would continue to work after reaching full retirement age with 35% of these people saying that they would be doing so out of financial need.
Preparation is the key to a comfortable retirement. If you want to get started planning for the future, the wise course of action would be to contact an experienced retirement planning attorney to get the ball rolling.